Ben Ramsey wrote Dragonball Evolution, and he asked me to tell you that he is sorry.
Where did this sudden apology come from, 7 years after the movie’s premiere in 2009?
I contacted Ben to interview him for a book I’m writing titled “USA DBZ.”
The book has a chapter dedicated to telling the untold story behind Dragonball Evolution, which is Hollywood’s live-action adaptation of the series.
Dragonball Evolution is reviled by fans and has a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fans of anime and pop culture consider it to be the lowest benchmark by which live-action adaptations of anime and comics are compared. When a bad movie comes out, people say, ‘Hey, at least it wasn’t as bad as Dragonball Evolution!’
But where did the idea for Dragonball Evolution come from, who wrote it, what was the original intention, and why was it so disappointing to Dragon Ball fans across the world?
To find out, I asked Ben for an interview.
He replied with an apology.
Ben Ramsey’s Apology
“I knew that it would eventually come down to this one day. Dragonball Evolution marked a very painful creative point in my life. To have something with my name on it as the writer be so globally reviled is gut wrenching. To receive hate mail from all over the world is heartbreaking. I spent so many years trying to deflect the blame, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the written word on page and I take full responsibility for what was such a disappointment to so many fans. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, I ‘dropped the dragon ball.’
I went into the project chasing after a big payday, not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment. I have learned that when you go into a creative endeavor without passion you come out with sub-optimal results, and sometimes flat out garbage. So I’m not blaming anyone for Dragonball but myself. As a fanboy of other series, I know what it’s like to have something you love and anticipate be so disappointing.
To all the Dragon Ball fans out there, I sincerely apologize.
I hope I can make it up to you by creating something really cool and entertaining that you will like and that is also something I am passionate about. That’s the only work I do now.
Praise for Light of Hope
Ben added, “By the way, Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope was awesome! Excellent work, Derek. It’s what Dragonball Evolution should have been.”
Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope is a fan produced live-action adaptation of The History of Trunks, and I am its writer and co-creator.
Dragonball Evolution was filmed with $30 million, and ours with $10 thousand, but ours is loved by fans, while Hollywood’s is not.
It’s nice to see that Ben recognizes that passion and staying true to the source material is what matters most.
What’s your response after reading Ben’s apology?
It’s rare for a Hollywood writer to apologize for a movie. Maybe a particular scene, a controversial conclusion, or some questionable dialogue, but not an entire movie.
Do you accept his apology, or is it too little, too late? Can he ever be forgiven?
If you’d like Ben to hear your reply, then leave your comment below.
This is the best way to reach Ben because after the movie’s release, there was so much hatred railed against him that he stopped accepting email from fans and left social media. If you want Ben to hear what you have to say, or you make a video response online, then share it here.
Thank you, Ben, for the apology, and for trusting me to share it with Dragon Ball fans.
Update May 6: Read the original Dragonball Evolution script that Ben Ramsey submitted to Fox before it was changed by the producers.
Update May 10: Ben Ramsey replies to the fans.